Teske Defeats Sorenstam in Playoff to Win PING

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2002, 5:00 pm
Rachel Teske birdied the second playoff hole to beat defending champion Annika Sorenstam in the PING Banner Health on Sunday.
Sorenstam blew a four-shot lead in regulation. She starting with a double bogey on the first hole and had bogeys on the last two, finishing at 4-over-par 76.
Teske carded a 71, tying Sorenstam at 8-under 280.
Both players parred on the first playoff hole, Teske after blasting out of a fairway bunker and into another bunker behind the green. She hit a wedge to within 4 feet and saved par.
On the next, Teske's approach shot landed 6 feet from the cup, and she holed it after Sorenstam's first putt from about 13 feet stopped short.
Teske, 3-1 in playoffs, improved to 2-1 in head-to-heads with Sorenstam. She beat the Swedish star in the 1999 Betsy King Classic and lost to her at the 2000 Jamie Farr Classic.
It was Teske's fifth career victory and second in two seasons. She won the Evian Masters in France last year.
Sorenstam, who played 20 holes without a hint of her trademark burst of birdies, was going after her third win in as many starts and was on a course where she shot the first 59 in a women's tournament during the second round at Phoenix in 2001.
The low round and her 27-under 261 total are two of the six LPGA records Sorenstam set or tied.
This year was different as all the players struggled in chilly conditions for three days and didn't seem able to improve on Sunday when there was less wind and warmer temperatures. The final 8-under was the highest winning score at Moon Valley Country Club since Laura Davies won at 8-under in 1996.
Mi Hyun Kim (72), Cristie Kerr (75) and Akiko Fukushima (75) tied for third at 284, with Jeong Jang (68) and Juli Inskter (71) at 285.
Sorenstam beat Karrie Webb in a playoff to win the unofficial-money Australian Masters last month, and overcame Lorie Kane in a playoff to win the season-opening Takefuji Classic in Hawaii on March 2.
This time, she seemed set to win in regulation when she took a three-shot lead into No. 17.
But there was a two-shot swing on No. 17, where Teske made a 15-foot birdie putt and Sorenstam bogeyed after three-putting from 25 feet.
On the 18th, Teske nearly holed a 50-foot putt for birdie. The ball hit the back of the hole and rolled away, leaving a 4-footer for par that the Aussie buried.
Sorenstam's second shot at No. 18 skipped over the firm green and landed in a back bunker, drawing a gasp from the gallery. She got the ball out, but it ran 7 feet past the hole. She two-putted for her third bogey of the round.
Sorenstam, who has won 14 of her 32 career titles since 1999, had what amounted to a meltdown when she double-bogeyed the first hole, a 349-yard par-4 which demands the kind of accurate drive that she usually hits.
This time, she drove into trouble on the right, punched back out to the fairway, hit her approach shot into a greenside bunker and two-putted after blasting within 3 feet of the flagstick out of the sand.
At the time, it seemed like just a blip.
But Sorenstam finished with 33 putts in regulation, and Teske offset bogeys at Nos. 2, 9 and 15 with four birdes.
Full-field scores from the PING Banner Health

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.